Weight Loss


So, before heading to Oregon — and just a few days after my return from Italy, I was sitting in my NYC apartment – okay still sulking a little bit about American versus Italian food.  A sulk I should reconsider.  First, I’m in the States, so get over it, dammit!  But also – I realize, no have to admit – I also ate what I damn well pleased while there.  Giving lie to my statements that

I never gain weight when I go to Italy!

Except, when I got on the scale upon my return and found out that a week of Janet Eats – Italian style – netted an extra five pounds in avoirdupois.  Oh boy.  Not bummed, mind you.  It is temporary.  And, oh so fun.

I found a quick option to my quest to eat like a Roman – but also keep fit, like most Italians.  I have always said – and this truism is, well, true.

You will not gain weight in Italy, if you eat their food in the WAY they eat their food.  You don’t, for the most part, see them walking around eating food, eating lots of desserts, eating in between meals.  Their fornos are a selected treat.  Not, as I did when I lived there for three months, a place to visit every day.  I have been happy to be vacationing a lot lately.  But, it does make it more challenging to eat healthfully.

  1. Challenge:  Away from home.
  2. Challenge: The food that is available is different, sometimes COMPLETELY different from your everyday choices.  And
  3. Challenge: Who WANTS to eat with limits and care.  It’s vacation!

So, now I face the wonderful opportunity to renew my commitment to healthful eating.  Good choices.  Veggies when I want them.  Steamed with a little olive oil.  Not at all something you even want to eat while on vacation.

You know, you gotta live.  In a way that allows for some indulgences.  If you are challenged, as I am, to eat healthfully on a regular basis (and, even at that, my friends tell me I’m pretty damn good at that) – you need to not judge yourself.  Pick on yourself.  Feel badly about yourself.  Enjoy the food that you eat when you eat it.  If that means a temporary weight gain, then just “man up” and eat the way you know is both best – AND enjoyable – for you.

And, I think I’ll try that recipe I read about from another Word Press Blogger, Iowa Girl Eats:

Baked Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

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One of my best friends implored me: “write about those last ten pounds!”  If somebody could just solve that, weight loss would be so much more successful.

I have been struggling with that assignment since that evening – over a delicious Italian meal, by the way.  Such a great question!  It is at the core of the diet challenge.

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It is well-known in the weight loss world that one of the best things you can do is keep a food diary.  As a writer, I understand all too well, the power of pen on paper.  Something profound happens with that direct link between the brain and the ink.  I’m sure there is some science behind it.

Writing down what you eat keeps you on track.  Even if you are not ready to start changing the way you eat, start tracking.  When you eat it, write it down.  Some recommend you write the time, place, and what you were feeling.  That’s a fine idea.  But, if you are diet daunted, keep it simple.

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You might wonder why I chose to write about pigging out in my last blog Janet Eats.  Too Much.

It just struck me that to stay true to my “mission” here on JanetEats, my ‘how I lost 50 pounds’ – I need to be open to all the nuances and challenges of that task.  It would be important to share the whole experience, not just the heady “whoo-hoo look-at-me I’m-losing-weight experience.  And, this blog is not just about losing weight through Weight Watchers, though it is clear that I swear by that program.  Why?  Simple.  It’s the “less in, more out” school of eating that leads to successful weight loss.  Weight University, I often call it.  It is a good time to learn whaddup with the overeating experience.

We do have our ups and downs.  We’ve seen that dramatically with Oprah.

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Roman homeless dude

When you’re trying to readjust your eating habits, think hard about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.  Too often, I have seen people who go on a DIET eat the very same thing for pretty much every meal.  I’ve done it myself.  Hell, I DO it myself.  It seems so much easier when you know the POINTS® or calories or carb count (pick your poison) of what you’re eating.

Grilled chicken on mixed greens with oil and vinegar, or diet (ick!) Italian dressing.  It gets old.  The idea of eating like that for the rest of your life becomes depressing, and, bingo, you’re back to your bad eating habits again.

Can’t say this enough:  you are learning to eat for the rest of your life!  Toss out the diet, dammit!

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Pont Sant'Angelo

Bridge of Angels, Roma

There are many tools we can use on our weight loss journey.  I don’t think any of us should overlook the power of the Divine.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not preaching here.  Nor, proselytizing.  I’m just adding another layer to our shared challenge: to lose weight.  To keep it off!

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gluttonySo you made that resolution and the first day of your DIET – January 1st, year 2010 (010110) went swimmingly.  The resolve of the resolution was strong.

Next day, or make that next night, Saturday night, you’re wondering “what the heck was I thinking?”  And, then reality bites.  You get hit with the NIGHT MUNCHIES!!

There are many theories of how to deal with that time at night, when you’ve pretty much eaten what you’ve determined would be a reasonable amount of food.  Yet, you really want to eat that (fill in the blank).

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